by Stephen Downes
[Sept] 24, 2014
The Creepiest New Corner Of Instagram: Role-Playing With Stolen Baby Photos
I'm, not so sure it's as creepy as Fast Company makes it out to be, because it's really nothing more than fantasy families, but it's noteworthy enough to mention here because of the obvious overlap that is possible with learning and technology. One wonders, for example, whether there are 'fantasy teachers' out there with wholly imaginary classrooms and fictional experiences. Just another day on the internet, I guess.
Task Force on Flexible Education publishes its interim report
Simon Fraser University,
I found this item after following an item noting that David Porter is leaving his position as Executive Director of BC Campus, a position he has held since 2003. He is also involved with the Task Force on Flexible Education at Simon Fraser University. That's the organization that released this interim report (25 page MS Word document). The report identifies four areas of focus: strategy and vision; program designs and business models; learning models, delivery, and support systems; and learning experiences and learning spaces. Readers will find value in the detailed definition of 'flexible learning' in the report, as well as the description of the initial review process. Image: David Porter, from LinkedIn.
Abstracts of Three Meta-Analysis Studies of Serious Games
The most interesting result of this survey of meta-studies of serious games: "Learners learned less from simulation games than comparison instructional methods when the instruction the comparison group received as a substitute for the game actively engaged them in the learning experience (so activity, not game elements seems to increase the learning)." Which accords with what we know about learning.
Shrinking Numbers, Changing Values
Inside Higher Ed,
In this [post it becomes clear that the values represented by university ranking initiatives count against universities reaching out to recruit the poor and disenfranchised. Which (in my view) was exactly the purpose of these rankings in the first place: not to measure the quality of universities, but to skew them toward the values espoused by the rankers. With publications like U.S. News & World Report being behind the rankings, you can infer for yourself what those values are.
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